In the wake of the Facebook data breach that supposedly compromised 50 million accounts and other personal data last week, it is but imperative to look at yet another aspect of ‘Information security’ – ‘Single sign on’.
What is ‘Single sign on’?
Remember, the time when you discovered a new website or app ? You had to register to get into the site. You were presented with these options:
‘Continue with Google’
‘Continue with Facebook’
in addition to a lengthy sign up process. In a hurry to understand what the new craze was, you just signed in with your ‘Facebook’ or Google account information instead of going through the whole signing up rigmarole. This is ‘Single sign on’ wherein by just signing into Facebook or Google, you can access many other apps and sites with ease.
What is the downside of ‘Single sign on’?
It seems to be such an easy thing to do – just sign in with one account and we can access so many other sites with ease. So, what is exactly the problem? If you have signed into multiple accounts using Facebook or Google, when the main ‘sign on’ site gets hacked, it is quite a possibility that the other apps that use ‘Single sign’ on method of being authenticated would have their data breached too.
So in essence, you are exposing the data related to all other apps to the hackers too!
How do we ensure the safety of our data in the wake of the breach?
Since there is nothing that is simple and easy in this world, single sign on comes with its own troubles. In case of the Facebook data breach, you would have definitely received appropriate messages and notifications if, your account was indeed hacked. In addition,it is good to always:
These security tips will hold good for some time before the next breach occurs!
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Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.
She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂